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Cry of the Banshee (1970)

 -  Horror  -  22 July 1970 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 997 users  
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In Elizabethan England, a wicked lord massacres nearly all the members of a coven of witches, earning the enmity of their leader, Oona. Oona calls up a magical servant, a "banshee", to ... See full summary »

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Title: Cry of the Banshee (1970)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Essy Persson ...
Lady Patricia Whitman
Hilary Heath ...
Maureen Whitman (as Hilary Dwyer)
Carl Rigg ...
Harry Whitman
...
Sean Whitman
Marshall Jones ...
Father Tom
Andrew McCulloch ...
Bully Boy
...
Burke
Pamela Moiseiwitsch ...
Maid
Joyce Mandre ...
Party Guest
Robert Hutton ...
Party Guest
Guy Deghy ...
Party Guest
...
Oona (as Elizabeth Bergner)
Patrick Mower ...
Roderick
Victoria Fairbrother ...
Margaret Donald (witch) (as Pamela Farbrother)
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Storyline

In Elizabethan England, a wicked lord massacres nearly all the members of a coven of witches, earning the enmity of their leader, Oona. Oona calls up a magical servant, a "banshee", to destroy the lord's family. (The "banshee" of this tale bears no resemblance to the normal usage of the term!) Written by Marg Baskin <marg@asd.raytheon.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Edgar Allan Poe probes new depths of TERROR!

Genres:

Horror

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 July 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De vloek van Satan  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Stephen Rea. See more »

Goofs

This film is set in the 16th century. But in the first scene, when the girl is branded, she opens her mouth to scream and shows a full set of teeth with amalgam fillings. See more »

Quotes

Maureen Whitman: It's as though we're all seeds of evil.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits are divided into "The Establishment, "Witches", and "Villagers". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Planet Terror (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not one of Vincent's best.
6 April 2005 | by (Bromsgrove, England) – See all my reviews

You always know what to expect from this genre of low-budget supernatural-historical movies ... peasants with one brain between the lot of them, fine wenches being treated very, very badly, and plenty of over-acting from men wearing tights and funny hats.

Cry of the Banshee has all of these elements, and is fairly representative of the genre. It isn't on the same level as cult movies like "Witchfinder General" (also starring Vincent Price), but it does have it's moments. Here Vincent Price plays a wicked lord with a very strange family. He takes great pleasure in finding, mistreating and executing young witches, until he messes with the wrong coven and his entire family is cursed. They soon begin to get gruesomely killed off one by one by a seemingly unstoppable monster. That'll teach 'em.

Vincent Price gives a fairly memorable performance here as the evil, sadistic lord of the town. He does the best he can with the script, anyway, which is all a great actor can ever do. Nobody else on the cast is particularly noteworthy, but on the whole it's a fairly competent movie as far as the acting is concerned. On the subject of the script, it does seem to be thing that everyone involved struggled with. The movie had already been sold to the distributors, which meant that the director, re-writers and so on couldn't change it as much as they would probably have liked to, so they didn't necessary end up making the movie they wanted to make.

This accounts for the way that some aspects of the film are so much better than others. In some scenes the actors themselves seem pretty bored with it, whereas in others the relish in the opportunity to show their full talent. The scenes involving the witches coven are pretty interesting, and some of the climatic moments are particularly well-shot. Also, the opening credits sequence is instantly recognisable as the work of Monty Python's artist Terry Gilliam, which is pretty neat. However, there aren't enough great moments to elevate it above most other movies of it's kind.

If you're a fan of Vincent Price, or of those trashy period movies of the sixties and seventies, you might want to give this one a look. Otherwise, it probably won't appeal to you that much.


4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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